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Poster: Sugaree83 Date: Mar 3, 2007 7:28pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: what SHOULD Wharf Rat sound like?

I used to appreciate the older versions, sung by a guy who could really sing, but ...

What is the song all about?

How should the narrator sound?

I offer:

http://www.archive.org/details/gd84-11-02.sbd.connor.10172.sbeok.shnf

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Poster: lobster12 Date: Mar 4, 2007 8:33am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: what SHOULD Wharf Rat sound like?

Not a big wharf rat guy so I might be the wrong person to ask. With that said I can tell you it SHOULD NOT be played like the meadowlands 1995 version. That could be the most painful song in the history of the band. And to the reviewers who say Jer was being "creative" that night, denial just ain't a river in Egypt.

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Poster: Chris Freedom Date: Mar 3, 2007 8:20pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: what SHOULD Wharf Rat sound like?

Hey Sugaree

I love that this Wharf Rat you put up is played pre-drums. It certainly has a unique feel and sound to it.

I am enjoying the rest of the show as well!

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Poster: Chris Freedom Date: Mar 3, 2007 8:31pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: what SHOULD Wharf Rat sound like?

http://arts.ucsc.edu/gdead/agdl/wrat.html

Below is some of what is at the above link:

2. Wharf rat,...(b)one who is frequently found on or near wharves, esp. a vagrant or petty criminal who haunts wharves...1836Franklin Repository (Chambersburg, PA) 4 Oct 1/3 "I've an idea, my man, that you are one of the wharf rats; and, if so, the less lip you give me the better."



Asked me for a dime, a dime for a cup of coffee
This note from a reader:

From: scott matter [mailto:scoma@hotmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, January 11, 2003 8:27 PM
Subject: Wharf Rat note

Hi David,

I just watched On the Waterfront (Marlon Brando, dir. by Elia Kazan) and had a thought. The line from the first verse of Wharf Rat (asked me for a dime, a dime for a cup of coffee) is very similar to lines from a particular scene in the movie.

It's the scene where Terry Malloy is walking from the church with Edie (after the union has come to break up a meeting of potential 'rats.' An old bum in the park stops the couple and asks them "can you spare a dime? Just a dime for a cup of coffee?"

It seems like Hunter might have had this movie in mind (or part of it anyways) when writing Wharf Rat. At least the similarity in this one line is interesting.

take care,

scott

This note from a reader:

Date: Tue, 30 Sep 1997 19:56:50 -0700
From: Joyce Kohnke
Subject: wharf rat

What's up David. I wanted to point out the line:

I love my Pearly Baker best
More than my wine

Back in the era of prohibition, the Rev. Purley Baker was the head of the Anti-Saloon League of America. This group lead the fight for prohibition in America. Who knows? Keep up the good work!

Walt K
joycek@innercite

Well! This is an amazing note. Purley Baker did indeed head up the Anti-Saloon league from 1903 to the early 1920's. In the song, of course, Pearly Baker, with the different spelling, becomes a woman. But the reference has interesting implications for the song's meaning-which, of course, I leave up to you.

There is an interesting discussion on the Deadlit conference at the WELL (Topic #251) which points up a possible link to the line in the song "Days Between":

"Summer flies and August dies
The world grows dark and mean."

The speculation in this discussion includes the possibility that August West of "Wharf Rat" is a Garcia personality--since Garcia's birthdate was in August.

And this note from a reader:

Subject: Wharf Rat
Date: Mon, 25 Nov 1996 17:35:35 -0800
From: Joe Berentes

David,

I was browsing some of the entries on your page and came across the discussion regarding the name August West.

It seems to me this name is symbolic of the derilict's life. August marks the end of summer, a time of happiness and life. Also, of course, the sun sets in the west, marking the end of a day. August West is a man who is well past the summer of his life and whose days are drawing to a close.

Just a thought. Thanks for the great reading.

Joe

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Poster: rosey842 Date: Mar 3, 2007 10:14pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: what SHOULD Wharf Rat sound like?

Never heard a bad version...this song to me is what the Dead is about. a "vagabond" down on his luck just tryin' to live life. Boy can I truly relate.

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Poster: smi2les Date: Mar 4, 2007 4:35am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: what SHOULD Wharf Rat sound like?

I'm just glad I don't gamble.

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Poster: Lou Davenport Date: Mar 3, 2007 9:01pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: what SHOULD Wharf Rat sound like?

It should sound like they played it on 6-17-76.

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Poster: Chris Freedom Date: Mar 3, 2007 9:02pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: what SHOULD Wharf Rat sound like?

Hey Lou,
Not to disrupt this 'Wharf Rat' thread but I liked your Dead questions yesterday!
You might want to post them like 5 at a time or something cause that was a lot to handle all at once but keep em coming!

Peace